01/01/2011 archive

Random Japan


 2010 Roundup  


“Kodokan” means “we automatically win”

The All Japan Judo Federation said it would do away with its homegrown “Kodokan” rules and instead adopt the standards of the International Judo Federation.

Dude, chill out

After losing to an unheralded rival in the prestigious Koshien baseball tournament, the coach of a high school team in Shimane said his squad’s performance “was a humiliation that will carry over for generations. I can’t get over it… I want to die.”

Warning: irony alert

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is organizing an 8,000km boat cruise for relatives of servicemen who were killed at sea during World War II.

Hey, hang on a minute…

The Japan Mint is selling newly pressed ¥1,000 coins featuring the likeness of 19th-century samurai Ryoma Sakamoto for ¥6,000.

The wrestler and the rye

The mother of Estonian sumo wrestler Baruto, who was promoted to the second-highest rank of ozeki, said that after first arriving in Japan, her son “was unaccustomed to Japanese food” and “missed rye bread.”

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Greens With Fruit and Cheese


Braised Endives With Orange, Toasted Almonds and Ricotta

Apple, Fennel and Endive Salad With Feta

Watercress and Endive Salad With Pears and Roquefort

Braised Endives With Orange, Toasted Almonds and Ricotta

Kale Salad With Apples, Cheddar and Toasted Almonds or Pine Nuts

College Throwball Bowl Mania!

First of all, Football is a game you play with your feet and a round ball.

Second, the whole Bowl Championship Series system is a ripoff and a joke.  Either you have a National Championship Playoff or you don’t.  This is don’t.

The thread is for rooting for your Alma or other teams you have an interest in.  Richard will be cheering for (Michigan) State (Alma) and UConn (not really a Division 1 Team and a huge waste of taxpayer money).

Your early games-

1 pm

  • ABC– College Throwball- Outback Bowl: Florida v. Penn State
  • ESPN– College Throwball, Capital One Bowl: Alabama v. Michigan State

1:30 pm

  • ESPN2– College Throwball, Gator Bowl: Michigan v. Mississippi State

Late games-

5 pm

  • ESPN– College Throwball, Rose Bowl: Texas Christian v. Wisconsin

8:30 pm

  • ESPN– College Throwball, Fiesta Bowl: Connecticut v. Oklahoma

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Gail Collins: The End-of-the-Year Quiz

Let’s see how well you followed the news in 2010. No cheating

I. Happy New Year! Besides the Times Square ball, the glorious American mosaic of things scheduled to be dropped around the nation on New Year’s Eve also included all but which one of the following:

A) The Brasstown, N.C., Possum Drop

B) Dillsburg, Pa.’s giant pickle

C) The Elmore, Ohio, Sausage Drop

D) Seaside Heights, N.J., first annual dropping of Nicole (Snooki) Polizz

Bob Herbert: For Two Sisters, the End of an Ordeal

I got a call on New Year’s Eve from Gladys Scott, which was a terrific way for 2010 to end.

As insane as it may seem, Gladys and her sister, Jamie, are each serving consecutive life sentences in a state prison in Mississippi for their alleged role in a robbery in 1993 in which no one was hurt and $11 supposedly was taken.

Gladys was on the phone, excited and relieved, because Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi had agreed to suspend the prison terms.

“I’ve waited so long for this day to come,” she said.

I was happy for the Scott sisters and deeply moved as Gladys spoke of how desperately she wanted to “just hold” her two children and her mother, who live in Florida. But I couldn’t help thinking that right up until the present moment she and Jamie have been treated coldly and disrespectfully by the governor and other state officials. It’s as if the authorities have found it impossible to hide their disdain, their contempt, for the two women.

The prison terms were suspended – not commuted – on the condition that Gladys donate a kidney to Jamie, who is seriously ill with diabetes and high blood pressure and receives dialysis at least three times a week. Gladys had long expressed a desire to donate a kidney to her sister, but to make that a condition of her release was unnecessary, mean-spirited, inhumane and potentially coercive. It was a low thing to do.

Your freedom for a kidney??

“Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the state of Mississippi.”

There are no words to express my contempt for this racist, heartless, inhumane excuse for a human being, Haley Barbour

Bob Burnett: 2010 “Person” of the Year: The US Supreme Court

It’s difficult to look beyond the tumult of current events and ask, “what happened this year that will be remembered ten, twenty, or fifty years from now?” However, there was one 2010 event that, in terms of its long-term impact, loomed above the others, the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court Decision.

Writing in the NEW YORK REVIEW, law professor Ronald Dworkin explained Citizens United v. FEC: “In the 2008 presidential primary season a small corporation, Citizens United, financed to a minor extent by corporate contributions, tried to broadcast a derogatory movie about Hillary Clinton. The FEC declared the broadcast illegal under the BCRA [Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act]. Citizens United then asked the Supreme Court to declare it exempt from that statute on the ground, among others, that it proposed to broadcast its movie only on a pay-per-view channel.” In an extraordinary example of judicial activism, the Supreme Court conservative majority, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, declared the entire BCRA act unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court hadn’t been the story of the year since the December 12, 2000, Bush v. Gore decision. This paved the way for Bush’s installation as President and his nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice in September of 2005. Many Supreme Court observers regard Roberts as the judicial equivalent of the “Manchurian Candidate.” NEW YORKER legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted Roberts dogmatic conservatism: “In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts [and his conservative allies] has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff.”

Tournament of Roses Parade

Today is the 122nd edition of the Tournament of Roses Parade known for its plant and flower covered floats (most of which are animated) and equestrian units.

I’ll charitably posit that it’s the plant and flower coverings and not the manure that earns it a spot in the Home and Garden channel line up (it’s also being covered on ABC and NBC).  If I sound a little bitter it’s because I’ve marched in a band behind horses of which there are also plently.

Bands that is.  This year we’ll have the displeasure of being subjected to flower zombie Ronnie on the occasion of his centenary.  The part of him that wasn’t senile was shallow, narcissistic, vapid, and evil.

I’ll try and keep up as best I can.  I’m working to finish up today’s TV and put together a Bowl Game Mania Open Thread so I can ditch out to a party this evening.  I’m skipping Evening Edition but TheMomCat may decide to put something together, I’m leaving it up to her.

So grab your hangover flapjacks and coffee and settle in.

On This Day in History January 1

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.


January 1 is the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years).

During the Middle Ages under the influence of the Christian Church, many countries moved the start of the year to one of several important Christian festivals – December 25 (the Nativity of Jesus), March 1, March 25 (the Annunciation), or even Easter. Eastern European countries (most of them with populations showing allegiance to the Orthodox Church) began their numbered year on September 1 from about 988.

In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record records the execution of Charles I occurring in 1648 (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. For example, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. Later that year in September, the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies. These two reforms were implemented by the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.

New Year’s Day

Probably observed on March 1 in the old Roman Calendar, The World Book Encyclopedia of 1984, volume 14, page 237 states: “The Roman ruler Julius Caesar established January 1 as New Year’s Day in 46 BC. The Romans dedicated this day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. The month of January was named after Janus, who had two faces – one looking forward and the other looking backward.” This suggests that New Year’s celebrations are founded on pagan traditions. Some have suggested this occurred in 153 BC, when it was stipulated that the two annual consuls (after whose names the years were identified) entered into office on that day, though no consensus exists on the matter. Dates in March, coinciding with the spring equinox, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December.

Among the 7th century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands, it was the custom to exchange gifts at the New Year. This was a pagan custom deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemings and Dutchmen, “(Do not) make vetulas, [little figures of the Old Woman], little deer or iotticos or set tables [for the house-elf, compare Puck] at night or exchange New Year gifts or supply superfluous drinks [another Yule custom].” The quote is from the vita of Eligius written by his companion, Ouen.

Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year’s Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. The March 25 date was known as Annunciation Style; the January 1 date was known as Circumcision Style, because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, being the eighth day counting from December 25 when Christ was believed to be born. This day was christened as the beginning of the New Year by Pope Gregory as he designed the Liturgical Calender.

As you can see there were a lot of events that happened on this day over the centuries. Some of them significant, even momentous, some not so much but interesting as a kind of trivia. I am not even going to attempt to edit that list today.

Thank you all so much for your work and contributions to this site. We at The Stars Hollow Gazette and Docudharma wish you and yours a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  

Six In The Morning

Republicans want to make being brown illegal

Political battle on illegal immigration shifts to states

Legislative leaders in at least half a dozen states say they will propose bills similar to a controversial law to fight illegal immigration that was adopted by Arizona last spring, even though a federal court has suspended central provisions of that statute.

The efforts, led by Republicans, are part of a wave of state measures coming this year aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

Legislators have also announced measures to limit access to public colleges and other benefits for illegal immigrants and to punish employers who hire them.

The Morning After

Expect updates.  This edition good until 1 pm when the Rose Parade is over.  Now until 4 pm.  Midnight.  Done.  Off to my party.

New Tools.  Previous entries.  Instant gratification-

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Personal Thanks from Translator to These Communities 20101231

Folks, we are coming up to a New Year.  2010 was not kind personally or politically for me, but I am thankful that I remain breathing.

In many respects, that has to do with you, Dear Audience!  You have read many of my thoughts and responded to them.  Agree or disagree, many of you responded.

I have been a Big Orange person for years, but was asked to edit on another site recently.  I very gladly accepted, but will never forget this place.

Happy New Year!

Well, if you’re looking for profound insight, thoughtful retrospection on a year that can only be described as horrible, farsighted prognostication of future trends, or stentorian calls to ACTION!, I think we can all agree that you’re reading in the wrong place.

But if you have some sentiment you’re aching to express or a passing observation of entropy’s arrow…

Brian Seacrest’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.  Is this water hot or is it just me?

In case you forgot the words.  

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